Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shopper Stumped!

Warning: this post is laced in malayalam……

Each one of us has memorable shopping experiences….Even I have a few of em which I wont for-get…Would love to share a few of em…

Several years ago, guess in mid-school times… i was send to a poultry shop to buy chicken…
This is the conversation that followed……..

Me: "Oru kilo chicken chetta"
Butcher (in a hurried tone): "Halal??"
Me :"alla...chicken"
Butcher (with slightly louder voice than before):"Halal aano ennu?"
Me (trying to be convincing):"alla chetta…chicken Kozhi ille?..."

And the sight of his sharp vettukathi did not elicit further questions or answers from me....


Few weeks ago when I was on a call home, Mom mentioned an incident which happened to her during a visit to a grocery shop….

Mom: “Theeyal paste* ondo?”
Shopkeeper (trying to be salesman) : “ayyo illa…Pepsodentoo colgateoo aanengil ondu…”

I think Amma did not laugh out loud though am not sure if I could bear not to!!

*you get it readymade like Puliyogare.

Another incident happened in final year of college…We often had parties hosted when friends got placed in various companies…and we often hit upon the best restaurants in town…And since I was not used to frequenting the better off restaurants back then, I used this opportunity to explore the most expensive of dishes…and due to circumstance not known ‘someone’ asked the waiter

‘Someone’: “Chetta…brochure theraamo”
Waiter: “Brochureooooooo!!!!”

It never clicked ‘someone’s’ mind to ask for the Menu!!


There are couple of incidents which are attributed to friends who are “Hindi challenged.”

Someone checking into a grocery shop in Hyderabad to buy a kilo of dal…
“aada ghanta daal kitna??"

Another fella who has a historic tendency to confuse between ‘kya’ and ‘kaun’...

At a restaurant in Bangalore after summoning the waiter…
S: “Bhai…khaanei keliya kaun kaun hein”

The same guy again in another hotel:-

S: “Chicken soup hein?”
S:Aur kaun hein?”

This happened in Germany…’someone’ goes to a bakerie and asks for Franzbrotchen (kind of crois-sant)...In order to try his german as much as possible this ‘someone’ started of conversation in rudi-mentary german…He knew that ‘einmal’ in german meant, one or one more…

‘Someone’: ‘Einmal kafee und einmal franzbrotchen...Zum mit nehmen bitte’
: ’One coffee and one croissant…take away please…’
shop attender:’Alles...’
: ’that’s all?’

Everything fine until here. That’s when ‘someone’ tried interpretational language learning…Instead of saying a simple ‘Ja’ (yes) to end the conversation, he said.. ‘Nochmal’

So a typical german might ask why you said that…coz the logic worked like this...
’Zweimal means ‘two more’…..therefore Nochmal must be meaning ‘No more’’…though actually Nochmal means ‘One more’...So this is what ensued…

Shop attender:’Alles...’
: ’that’s all?’
Someone (very happy to try his interpreted german): ‘Nochmal’
Shop attender: ‘Franzbrotchen?’
Someone (so happy to get the chance to use the word again): ‘ja…Nochmal’

The lady goes inside and gets one more Franzbrotchen…Noticing this, ‘someone’ shouts from a distance a bit louder…


The lady goes inside again…and gets ‘someone’ the third Franzbrotchen…

That day for dinner...this ‘someone’ had to finish three Franzbrotchen and a new word to learn!!

Listening to Nena.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Quo Vadis?

In the wee hours of a wintry Sunday morning I woke up to the sound of rattling windows in my insipid little home and wore the specs to clear the haze that blurred my dreary eyes ...The mist was already in the air and nature was making exotic mosaics of its own on the tinsel glass panes...The dew drops then fell, washing away what was so beautiful just a few minutes nature was never satisfied with its own creation....And then I started walking, inspite of the cold which was accentuated by the chilly zephyr ..

Few steps down the cobblestoned path and stretching my hands as if to grab an invisible bottle of elixir floating somewhere, I could breathe fresh air flavored with a tinge of aroma from the nearby spring flowers...... A sniff of which sub-consciously brought a smile along, as I walked towards the river side.

The moon was not perfect round nor a flawless crescent but still glorious in the bland mackerel sky, threatened by the sun flaunting its gleam and playfully blending into the blue with shades of scarlet…As if taking a cue the birds began their ballet in the sky, gliding tranquilly and placidly with an occasional scoop down to the river and splashing their feathers leaving a fine mist dangling in the streams of sunlight.

As I kept walking along the river bed which was spotless ivory and cushioned wet, I could see in the distance a man and his dog playing. Not sure who was happier when I saw the dog jump in air and retrieve the flying saucer ,every time the man threw it away...If then someone said dogs couldn’t smile, I would have disagreed.

Running further along I saw signs of the city waking up… children boisterously laughing hands over shoulders …a beautiful woman reading a novel in the bus…someone was playing Wagner’s music in the bistro….From the distance I could hear the first sirens of the ships moving in the harbor … pushing tiny waves kissing my feet…

I stood for a moment …looking at the retreating waves.

The retreating waves...

Five years ago on a pleasant summer day I was where I stood now, listening to her jokes. She would say silly things which I wondered were philosophical puzzles…Watching the wave’s retreat she would liken it to a love lost woman who would go back to the water after a fling with the shore…only to come back again.

She had a smile on her face... always….But when she talked about her story the mask was hard to keep. The pursuits of happiness and to be loved had taken her places…Her guy was a man of exquisite tastes, refinement and a natural charmer. His witty remarks would make any party in town lively. And she saw perfectness in her world…a utopian perfection.

When such a perfect crystal cracked it left a lot of mess …She realized the complete man was a work of art made of clay…it changed shape as days went by and so did she…They tried to hide the cracks in pursuit of making it work. Petty fights, ego clashes, reconciliation a vicious circle of which two souls badly wanted to come out…and they did come out…He left the city to start afresh…She stayed back…broken free but still dizzy…and empty.

And one day, she said she wanted to know where the retreating waves go…I laughed at the idiotic question of hers. Sometimes it’s hard to elicit from a person so mystic…because two days later when I saw in the papers, I understood that was not a joke!!

And now, standing at the same place I watched the wave’s retreat…picturing the four footprints that used to be there few years ago...I wondered if she had come for a walk that morning and brought an empty canvas and paint her life all over again.

Today, with trivial thoughts and flimsy dreams I walk back in oblivion with only myself to accompany...
P.S. In an old post of mine..I had mentioned that i wished to hold the paint brush again...though 4 years of not having done is obvious...I am glad I did..
acrylic on paper.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


“Fellow country man…the time has come…the time has come for CHANGE....together WE CAN!”
...announced Pappu Yadav during the election rally..

Taking the cue his personal hedge fund manager made some well placed calls and got change in crisp 100 rupee notes from his stashed up Swiss bank accounts. According to Hero No 1,there are plenty of takers as its customary during holi time to bring CHANGE to the masses.

Meanwhile christians in Mangalore can finally observe the Holy week after convincing sena loks that its actually Holi week and confirming to the sacred book of Indian culture!! A generous Muthalik has agreed to a public holiday on Easter to emphasize that he is not anti-western as stereotyped… Danke schon bro!!

Election campaign is on full swing elsewhere…

Reporter: “Sir…what do you say about the campaign promises made during the last election”
Politician: “dekho…I promised to eradicate obesity related deaths in my constituency and I have kept my promise”
Reporter: “It’s true sir… People now die only of malnutrition or suicide”
Politician: “Well!! I kept my promises...isn’t?”
Reporter: “Sir…Could you please tell us the work you have done for you consistency in the last 5 years”
Politician:”Well...I have made my consistency pollution free…and the transport system has been improved to be environment friendly…we are a responsible people you know!”
Reporter: “But sir…There is not a single industry that has come up in your town and the train you promised never came!!”
Politician: “That’s exactly the point…”

Another reporter reports from Andhra Pradesh.
Election commission taking note of excessive spending orders Shakeela to keep things to bare minimum. Fans confused.

In Karnataka, IT minister’s confirms his statement about industry being in the pink of health was a slip of the tongue. Employees still confused.

A regional party in Kerala splits into five different factions. The erstwhile party president who suffers from split personality syndrome is not sure which faction he belongs to. Party workers confused.

The new manifesto from the left declares ambitious plans to land man in Utopia. Protests from ISRO scientist drowned in widespread cheering from cadres.

BSP manifesto mentions a Mayawati theme park in Guruvayoor.

Other news
Fevicol had recently announced that they will use the “third front” as their new brand ambassador...Unfortunately the plans are shelved as many of the pieces did not arrive in time for the shoot.

NGO from Pakistan arrives in India to study the election process. On the way back talking to the press they express satisfaction in understanding the working as presented by election commissioner except for two unfamiliar words...Free and Fair….They say its usual Few and Rare in their country!

News from abroad

Italian prime minister has extended an olive branch to the Greek president to end long standing hostilities...But new controversy opens when the president was caught on camera giving it to the presidential cook ..

Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and Musharaf were flying together. Zardari wanted the plane to land in Islamadabad…Sharif wanted to land in Lahore and Musharaf wanted to fly all the way till Karachi air force base…All three called up the pilot over the intercom… The pilot comes out, removes his mask and asks where is the nearest American embassy…Osama doesn’t like landing on airstrips he shouts! And there was silence.

Election masala news ends here…But I think there is some new fella coming up in Delhi who keeps us entertained every other day.. Thank you for listening and as Azharuddin might now say I am in it just to make a ‘silly point’!

*HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUMMY (thats how we call grandma) her snap in orkut says.."who said that 8 & 1 is 81; I'm just 18 "*

*Used to be a signature line by a friend in college.